ALYOF – April Goal

Technically I am too late to link up for the April goal in A Lovely Year of Finishes, but I’m still going to go through the motions.  Even though I won’t get credit I will know that I followed through and that’s what matters.   With that being said, I don’t plan to follow through on very much this month.  Tomorrow I go back to work after 3 months of unemployment.  While I didn’t much enjoy worrying about money for those 3 months, I thoroughly enjoyed all the sewing time that I had and I’m going to miss it.  I figure I will spend most of April just finding that balance between work and sewing so I’m going to go easy on myself with my April goal.

A couple weeks ago I caved in and added another project to my never-ending list.  I joined The Triangle Quilt Along hosted by Paula at The Sassy Quilter.

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My goal is to finish piecing my triangle top.  I’m about 1/2 way through already so I’m pretty sure I can make this happen.  Fortunately I am still in time to link up at The Sassy Quilter.  So I’m going to do just that and then go sew for the rest of my “last day of unemployment”.

Thanks for reading along,

Mara

Fabriholics Anonymous – March Update

I realize I’m a day late on my March update for Fabriholics Anonymous, let’s call it April Fool’s.  I guess I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to admit to my epic fail in March.  I think a big part of the reason I’ve done so well with the fabric fast (up until now) was due to the fact that I lost my job in January.  No job = no money = no fabric.  That made perfect sense in my brain and I followed my self imposed rules very well.   But then the IRS was kind enough to give me my refund.  This is how the rationalization went in my head……

“I hate doing my taxes, maybe I should pay the nice folks at H&R Block to do them this year”

“Why should I pay someone to do my taxes when I can do them myself?

“Well if I was ready to pay someone else to do them why shouldn’t I pay myself?”

“Dammit, I should pay myself, I’m worth it!  And I should pay myself in fabric!”

So then this happened…..

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Pink Castle occasionally has this awesome sale on a Limited Edition Secret Stash Box 50 Fat Quarter Bundle for $75.00.  I highly recommend it!  I loved almost every single fat quarter and it was a really good even rainbow mix.  There were 3 fat quarters that I really didn’t care for and I gifted those to my mom (who loved them!).

So March wasn’t so great for the fabric fast, but I’m back on the wagon now.  Hopefully I can go another 3 months before my next relapse.  It may prove to be more difficult though because yesterday I accepted a job offer (YAY!).  That may punch a hole or two in my no job = no money = no fabric strategy.    I hope everyone else did better than me this month.

Mara

Peer Pressure I Tell Ya!

OK OK, I give up….I’ll sign up for the Triangle Quilt Along at The Sassy Quilter.  Everywhere I turned I was seeing people signing up for this one.  Add to that the fact that I’ve always wanted to do a triangle quilt and I didn’t stand a chance.  Maybe this is just what I need to get my sewjo back in full swing.  Today is the last day to link up your fabric choices for a chance to win prizes.  I have a small stack of Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander and another small stack of Catnap by Lizzy House.  They have been sitting next to each other on the shelf since I got them and I think they play nicely together.  I will likely add and remove a few times before I start cutting, but this is my rough pick….

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I’m linking up at The Sassy Quilter and looking forward to getting started!

The Sassy Quilter

 

 

ALYOF – March Finish

My goal for March was to design and piece a graduation quilt for my step daughter.  I was starting with some Cori Dantini panels and several coordinating prints.

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I knew that I wanted some flying geese and that I wanted to make use of the smaller panels and the larger “Dare To Fly” panel.  So this was my first idea.  It was meant to be sort of a window making use of the smaller panels.

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It turned out OK, but it wasn’t what I had in my mind’s eye.  And I really didn’t care for the darker solid green that I used.  I set aside the smaller panels for a bit and moved forward making my flying geese and attaching those to the large panel sides.  I really liked the way that turned out and, of course, I don’t have a picture of that stage on it’s own.  But once the geese were added to the panel everything fell into place.  I knew immediately that I wanted stars surrounding the panel.  8 wonky stars later and ……

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Goal completed!  This was, without a doubt, the biggest goal I’ve set for myself and it really didn’t help that I went through almost a whole week looking for my “sewjo” (sewing mojo).  I’m very happy to have this one done.  In fact I was so happy that I was ready to keep moving and get her quilted this week, but I hit a wall when it came time to piece the backing.  I really have nothing in my stash that compliments these colors, well at least not in enough quantity.  So, I get to go fabric shopping….Finally.  I will be so happy when I get a job again and finish this fabric fast.  Until then though, I will be very happy to use one of my loopholes and buy some pretty backing for this quilt.  For quilting I was thinking an all over stipple on the white areas and maybe some echo quilting around the stars.  I’m not sure what to do on that large center panel/geese.  Any suggestions?

Thanks for reading along,

Mara

ALYOF – March Goal

I can’t believe we are already in March.  Something happened around the same time that I turned 30 and time started moving more quickly and when 40 came it hit warp speed.  Which is why I am pleasantly surprised that I have met both my January and February goals.  In fairness, I’ve probably been a little easy on myself when setting goals.  So this month I’m going to push myself a little more.

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Savannah is my step daughter and she graduates from high school this year.  This may be the oldest box/WIP that I have and it will feel really good to clear this box.  Over the last year or so I have been collecting bits and pieces of Cori Dantini’s various fabric lines.  Most of what I have is from Sweet Life.  I can’t really explain why, it just makes me think of Savannah.  She’s a really sweet girl.  She’s a lot like her dad in that she see’s the good in people before anything else (a trait that is hard to find in the cynical world that we live in), and I’m quite fond of him.  I’ve also thrown in some Noteworthy, Salt Air and other assorted prints and solids that compliment the Cori Dantini panels.

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That’s as far as I’ve gotten on this project over the last year (or more).  I know exactly what my obstacle has been….plain and simply put, creativity.  This will be the first quilt top that I have made without any sort of pattern.  It’s not that I’m a stickler for following patterns or anything.  In fact, most of the time I make changes to the patterns that I use in order to make it a little more “mine”.   This is just the next step for me and up until now I’ve been hesitant to take it.  We are 3 months away from graduation though so it’s time!  My goal this month is to get the quilt top designed and completed.

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My plan is for this panel to be the center of the quilt with the smaller panels and other fabrics surrounding it.  Right now I am thinking some flying geese might be making an appearance.  I plan to sit down with some graph paper and colored pencils tonight and see what comes out.  As usual, suggestions are always VERY welcome.

Thanks for reading along,

Mara

 

ALYOF – February Finish

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My goal was to finish piecing my Virtual Quilting Bee blocks from Diary of A Quilter.  At the time that I made the goal my plan was to include the sashing that Amy had used to complete hers.  Thanks to a few very helpful comments on that post I decided to skip the sashing and go with my first instinct.  I really liked the way they looked without the sashing.  I promise it wasn’t just because I’m lazy.  I also didn’t have a real need for a big quilt and I thought this would look nicer as a spring time throw for my couch.  My only regret was that I didn’t plan to piece it this way from the start.  If that had been my original plan I probably would have placed some of the fabric differently in order to make the secondary pattern stand out more.  I’ll have to remember to consider that next time.

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For the back I used more of Happy Go Lucky.  I took advantage of a great sale and was able to get several yards of this at $6/yd.  Love when that happens.  It felt really good to finish this one.  My goal was to finish piecing the top, but I decided to take it a step further and finish it up with some straight line quilting and I went back to my machine binding for this one.  I did the straight line quilting with my walking foot and it took F O R E V E R.  I never thought I would say this, but I prefer FMQ’ing so much more.  I know a lot of folks use their FMQ’ing foot for the straight line quilting and I think I’m going to give it a try next time.  Even if it isn’t perfect it has to be more fun (and maybe a little faster?).  I’d love some feedback from you guys.  How do you straight line quilt, with the walking foot or the darning foot?  Any tips or tricks?

Thanks for reading along,

Mara

Fabriholics Anonymous – February Check-In

OK, so a couple things happened that resulted in fabric showing up at my house and I had to create one more “exception” to my self-imposed rules, but TECHNICALLY I am still successfully fasting.  So first there was a swap that I had to buy 1/2 yard of fabric for.   My partner had made a specific request so I count this purchase as necessary.   I can’t really say too much more about that because I haven’t sent this item off yet and I don’t want to give too much away.

Then this happened……

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I had nothing to do with this showing up on my doorstep, I swear.  I had mentioned to my sister (who also quilts) that this line had recently come out and that it was going to be one that will make it hard to stick to my fabric fast.  A few weeks later, like magic, it appeared before me 🙂  I did some serious happy dancing!  In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months the fabric line is Catnap by Lizzy House.  In addition to my fondness for cats in general, I am especially fond of orange cats and this fabric is just perfection!

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This is Nicky, one of my favorite orange cats..  I haven’t used that lovely stack of Catnap fat quarters yet.  I’m still waiting for the perfect project to come to mind.

So, if you’re keeping score, I had to buy a tiny bit of fabric for a swap (perfectly allowed in my exceptions) and I received a fabric “gift” (also perfectly allowed).  The exception that I need to add is that it’s ok for me to buy fabric for others as a gift.  Because I kinda already did that.

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My mom’s birthday is at the end of March, so this is a really really early birthday present for her.  My mom will be 87 this year and still quilts up a storm.  She spends most weekends at my house, where she has her own sewing machine set up, and we sew together.  Last year we both participated in the Virtual Quilt along hosted by Amy Smart at Diary of A Quilter.  When that ended she asked right away when the next one was.  The holidays kept me too busy to start anything new, but I finally found the next quilt along to share with my mom.  The Layer Cake Sampler Quilt Along hosted by Amanda at Material Girl.   This is the first week of it so it is definitely not too late to join in if you are interested.  It took a lot of restraint to only buy these 2 layers cakes for my mom, but I was a good girl.  I already had a layer cake in my stash that I plan to use for the prints and I will use yardage for the solid.

All in all, I am going to call February a success!  And thanks to loving and generous family it hasn’t been that painful.

Thanks for reading along,

Mara

Triple Zip Completed

Remember all those swap commitments that I posted about a few posts back?  I am officially down to just one left to make!

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I finished these little pretties yesterday.  Only one is needed for the swap, but I find it only adds a little bit of time to make 2 instead of one.   The Triple Zip Flickr group seems to prefer the longer flying geese pouch so that is most likely the one that I will be sending off next week.  I would love to keep the other one.  Aren’t those bikes cute?  But, she is destined for another package.

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I have also finished my social tote for The Sewing Room swap.  Pay no attention to the clover clips.  The binding is now sewn down and the small item is made and all the goodies are packed up and ready to ship.  I will share more pics once my secret partner receives it.

So now I’m down to just one last swap, The Secret Tote Swap.  This is Round 3 and for the first 2 rounds I made the Super Tote by Noodlehead.   Any guesses what I’ll be making this time??  You guessed it, the super tote to the rescue again.  This time it seems to be what my partner would like and I aim to please.  It’s a fun make and there are ways to get creative with it so I plan to have some fun this weekend!  Speaking of Noodlehead, have you seen her latest pattern, the Roadtrip Case.  This is going on my wish list for sure.  Before that though I am hoping to try my hand at the Weekender by Amy Butler.  I have my pattern and I’m hoping to start one I finish the Super tote.

Thanks for reading!

Mara

Bee Block and A Winner

If you are a quilter on IG then you have probably already heard of the #moderninstabee2014  It’s an Instagram bee based on the book Modern Bee by Lindsay Conner and it has taken off like crazy.  The last I heard I believe there were 12 hives started.  The book itself is a fun and informative one.  And since this will be my first bee it was helpful to have the book to help guide me through the process.

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And there you have it.  My very first bee block finished and ready to mail.  I love the colors that our February host has chosen.  I’m thinking I may need to play with these colors some more before I put this fabric back on the shelf.

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The winner of the heart mug rug is #27 Pam S. who wrote:

The quilt and the mug rugs are beautiful! I love the tiny squares and the combination of prints in the mug rug! Thanks for sharing!

I just sent you an email Pam.  Hopefully the temps will go above 10 degrees tomorrow and I’ll be able to make it to the post office and get this delivered by Friday.

Thanks for reading,

Mara

A Valentine Giveaway

So there I was, all sorts of swap projects in various stages of completion and a list that never ends of quilts that I want to make and about 7 quilts that are “almost done”.  So, of course, I thought now would be a good time to make a Valentine quilt.

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I didn’t have a pattern and didn’t really need one.  I used mostly scraps  that I cut at 3.5″ square for the whole squares and 4.5″ for those that I turned into half square triangles.  I had to “make” more low volume scraps from my stash in order to have enough.  I’ve noticed I go through a lot of low volume.  I tend to reach for low volume scraps before I go for my white yardage.  I like the scappy look to it.

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It’s hard to see the pattern on the backing but it’s white with a ton of red hearts in a scribble all over the back.  It was from last years after Valentine’s Day 75% off sale at Joann’s.  It had a nice feel to it so it and I had just enough to use for the backing.

I didn’t really do any calculating prior to making this quilt.  I just cut a “bunch” (that’s somewhere between a few and a lot) of blocks and started piecing.  I ended up with a finished size of 48″ x 38″.  It fits nicely over the back of my couch and it is a perfect little lap quilt. Because I didn’t do any planning, I ended up with several extra blocks.  I cut those blocks into smaller blocks, 1.5″ and made a couple mini heart mug rugs.  Aren’t they cute?

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I have plans for one of these mug rugs, but the other needs a good home.  My goal for the blog was to do one giveaway a month and so far I am right on track.  If you would like to have one of these mug rugs for your very own leave me a comment.  I will pick a random winner on Monday 2/10 and hopefully be able to get it in the mail and delivered by Valentines Day 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Mara